Newsom Signs Bill Requiring CA Public High School Students Pass Ethnic Studies Course To Graduate

Posted 4 days ago


Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that makes California the first state to mandate public high school students pass an ethnic studies class as a graduation requirement.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported, “High school students in California will be required to learn about the contributions and oppression of people of color in America, under a measure Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Friday.” According to the outlet, the new law “adds a one-semester ethnic studies course to the state’s high school graduation requirements for public schools, starting with the 2029-30 academic year.”

It also requires public schools to offer at least one ethnic studies course as an elective beginning in the 2025-26 school year.

Newsom said the legislation, known as Assembly Bill 101, enables students “to learn their own stories, and those of their classmates,” adding, “and a number of studies have shown that these courses boost student achievement over the long run – especially among students of color.”

“America is shaped by our shared history, much of it painful and etched with woeful injustice,” Newsom wrote in a signing statement. “Students deserve to see themselves in their studies, and they must understand our nation’s full history if we expect them to one day build a more just society.”

Assemblymember Jose Medina, a Democrat from Riverside who authored the bill, described the signing as “one-step in the long struggle for equal education for all students.”

“The inclusion of ethnic studies in the high school curriculum is long overdue,” said Medina in a statement. “Students cannot have a full understanding of the history of our state and nation without the inclusion of the contribution and struggles of Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans.”

“I want to acknowledge the countless young people, high school and college students, teachers and professors, who have organized, demonstrated, boycotted classes, and gone on hunger strikes to demand a more equitab... (Read more)

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